Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge Steels: weekend previews

Sheffield manager James Colliver. Pic by Ben Webster

Sheffield manager James Colliver. Pic by Ben Webster

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Sheffield FC entertain lowly Stamford as they look for an immediate boost following a 1-0 midweek defeat at Loughborough Dynamo.

Club seek a third consecutive home win, something they haven’t achieved since 2014.

Manager James Colliver says the pressure is on his side following the loss at Loughborough: “We know if we lose Stamford will go above us whereas had we got a point at Loughborough it would had made things a little easier.

“It’s not going to be easy just because we’re at home and they’ve got just four points, But if we put in the same effort and level of performance we did at Loughborough then hopefully we’ll get a result.”

Colliver felt his side were worth a point at Loughborough. “It was disappointing to lose” he said. “If we’re poor I put my hand up and say so. But that wasn’t the case, we were good all that was missing was the end product.

“We’ve created lots of chances, it was just that fine line of them getting in last ditch blocks and us perhaps making the wrong decision. They’ve had one shot on target and stuck it away.

“The lads have come off the pitch really disappointed, which is the reaction you want - hopefully they’ll take the frustration out on Stamford.”

Stocksbridge Park Steels go to Northwich Victoria in search of a fourth win in five games.

Steels came from behind to beat Carlton Town 2-1 at home in the last outing, a result that pleased boss Chris Hilton, if not the performance. “That’s nine points now from the last three games which is a good return after the first three games when we took just one point so you have to be pleased with that.

“It wasn’t a good game to be fair, we played too many long balls. We didn’t get the ball down and zip it around like we can do. But we’ve showed strong mentality to come from behind again and win the game.”

Northwich have failed to win in the league so far and prop up the table. Hilton said: “We don’t worry about the opposition any more, when we have done in the past we’ve come unstuck. It’s about imposing yourself on other teams. “The league hasn’t settled down yet. It will be a few more games before you have an idea on what teams may or may not do, then perhaps you might alter how you approach individual games.”

Hilton revealed Ashley Burbeary could possibly be out for two months after the midfielder was carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury late on in the win against Carlton. “It’s not broken but there is some ligament damage” he said. “We don’t know how serious it is until he’s been assessed after the swelling has gone down. But we’re definitely looking at four weeks and possibly a couple of months being without Ash, which is a blow.”

Corey Gregory is still not ready to return after failing a fitness test last weekend. But striker Scott Ruthven is feeling no reaction to his injury after playing the last 10 minutes against Carlton.

Hilton is close to bringing in a left sided midfielder before Tuesday’s home game against Shaw Lane AFC.

Shaw Lane will look to stretch their unbeaten start to nine games at AFC Rushden & Diamonds A win for the Ducks could see them go top if leaders Spalding United fail to beat Gresley at home.

Fixtures

Premier Division: Frickley Athletic v Marine, Ilkeston FC v Buxton, Mickleover Sports v Matlock Town.

Division One South: AFC Rushden & Diamonds v Shaw Lane AFC, Northwich Victoria v Stocksbridge Park Steels, Sheffield FC v Stamford.